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Missing The L Word? You Need to Binge Lip Service ASAP

Lip Service on BBC

Photo Credit: BBC

If you didn’t know there is a lesbian drama just like “The L Word” but British and better, then read on.

“Lip Service” was only on from 2010 to 2012 but it’s now up on Hulu for a blast to the past. Thanks to BBC Three taking a chance a decade ago on queer women’s content, we all have something amazing to binge-watch while quarantined at home. The bad news? There are only 12 episodes. Is it still worth those 12 hours of your time? YES!

The show takes place in Glasgow so the accents are amazing. The writing is also top-notch and I appreciate that unlike “The L Word” they don’t hit you over the head with PSAs but just develop the dozen main characters.

Meet Frankie Alan, the promiscuous brooding photographer who returns in the first episode from New York City. She is undoubtedly Shane in every way. She’s damaged, with no family except her group of friends. You just want her to be loved by someone but she keeps f-ing it up with every girl by not knowing how to communicate feelings. She’s kind of soft butch (compared to the mostly-femme cast) with a leather-jacket-wearing asymetrical-hair edginess.

Tess Roberts is the shows’ Alice. She’s a funny, quippy blonde actress struggling to make her big break. She’s adorable and I love following her dating escapades.

Now Tibette is one character on this show: Cat MacKenzie. On the Bette side, she wears blazers to her job as an architect and she takes her work very seriously. On the Tina side, she is unsure of herself at the beginning of the show. Cat is one of the show’s leads and has storylines around workplace gender inequity, U-Hauling, and a complicated relationship that never ends with an ex who is now her friend. Can you get more lesbian? No, no you cannot.

There is drama with exes and cheating, and the girls even have a Planet equivalent, a lesbian bar where they regularly chill together (with a token straight guy friend who always tags along). When I said this is “The L Word” but better, I meant it. These characters and their drama are as lovable as your four cats.

Make sure you stick around for the bombshell shocker in season two you absolutely will not see coming. The whole series is over way too soon, but at least by the time it’s done you’ll have filled a few days with quality content to pass the time while social distancing.




Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager
Sarah Prager is the author of the award-winning Queer, There, and Everywhere: 27 People Who Changed the World, Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, Kind Like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders, and A Child's Introduction to Pride: The Inspirational History and Culture of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Learn more about her speaking, writing, and more at